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The Best Downdraft Ranges and Cooktops (Reviews / Ratings)

Paul Groux  |  August 22, 2013  |  5 Min. Read

Jenn-Air  |  Ventilation  |  Downdrafts

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Placing your cooking appliances is the toughest part of planning a kitchen. Every other appliance is pretty easy.

Cooking with various sizes, wall ovens, cooktops and stoves has the most variables. Downdrafts are not as popular as they were in the 1980s, but still can solve some problems in kitchen islands or replacing other downdrafts.

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As a rule of thumb the best way to vent is with a hood above the cooking surface. As we all know, smoke and heat rise. Hoods provide capture area to channel the smoke, whereas downdrafts do not. Having good ventilation in your kitchen is very important. Proper ventilation clears the air of smoke and odors. Ventilation also prevents particles from accumulating on ledges, curtains and cabinets.

(Learn all about downdraft venting in our free Ventilation Buying Guide)

If your cooking product is in an island you have two choices. You can hang an island hood or you can downdraft. Purchasing and hanging an island hood from the ceiling can be costly. Also, the island hood can obstruct the line of sight in your kitchen. You may also be installing a cooking product in front of a window where there is no wall. This would be another prime example of where a downdraft would work best.

The most common and best way today to downdraft a cooktop is with a telescoping ventilator located behind the cooktop. The ventilators are available with CFM (cubic feet per minute) from 600 to 1,200. Broan actually produces an inexpensive downdraft at 500 CFM.

Integral Jenn-Air Cooktops With Ventilation

Jenn-Air also manufactures an assortment of gas and electric cooktops with integrated downdrafts. Rather than placing the ventilator behind the cooktop it is centrally located between the burners. They are available in gas or electric. Below is a Jenn-Air model JDG3536WS priced at $1,949.

jennair downdraft gas cooktop JGD3536WS

Jenn-Air downdraft cooktop JGD3536WS

The downdraft is a 3-speed fan rated at 325 cfm. The electric cooktop model JED4536W features glass touch controls with a burner that expands from a 6 to 9 to 12 inch burner priced at $2,149. This gives you a lot of flexibility for different pan sizes.

Jenn-Air also has 2 series of downdraft cooktops that have a barbeque grill integrated into the top. The grill is removable and can be replaced with another burner. They are available in a 4-burner 30 inch or a 6-burner 45 inch. The JGD8345AD is priced at $1,749 and the electric JED8348AD is $1,199.

I like the Jenn-Air for replacing other older Jenn-Air cooktops, but separate cooktop and blower has better features, options, BTU output and blower speed.

Downdraft Ranges - Gas and Electric

20 years ago, you could buy downdrafts from GE, Roper, Modern Maid, Thermador and Jenn-Air. Jenn-Air is the last company currently producing a range. The ranges, like the cooktops, are 30 inch wide and are available in gas, electric or dual fuel. All the ranges feature convection ovens with a 325 CFM downdraft fan.

The ranges, again like the cooktops, are available with the BBQ grill or without. The gas ranges all feature a 16,000 BTU max burner. Jenn-Air also offers a slide-in griddle for ranges that have the bbq grill option. The grill will unplug which allows you to slide another burner or a griddle in its place. Below are some examples of downdraft ranges.

jennair downdraft gas range JGS9900CDS jennair downdraft electric range JES9800CAS

Jenn-Air Gas Downdraft Range - JGS9900CDS

Jenn-Air Electric Downdraft Range - JES9800CAS

Final Thoughts

As I said in the beginning downdrafts can solve some issues, but hoods are still a better way to vent.

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Ventilation Buyers Guide with features like ducting, the proper CFM for professional ranges, downdrafts and much more. Over 220,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

view our ventilation buying guide


A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Paul Groux

Paul Groux has been with Yale Appliance + Lighting for over almost 20 years, specializing in appliance sales. He is a former U.S. Army Paratrooper and has completed two Boston marathons.

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A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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